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Online petition seeks to stop any pit-bull ban in Medford

A petition seeking to thwart any efforts to ban pit bulls in Medford has raised almost 5,000 signatures so far, attracting attention from as far away as Germany.

Tyler Woodard, a 23-year-old Medford pit bull owner who started the petition on www.care2.com, said 75 percent of those who signed appear to be from this area.

"It's still going strong," he said.

At its noon meeting Thursday in City Hall, the City Council, which has received about 100 emails and many phone calls on the issue, will create a committee that will devise enforcement measures to deal with unruly dogs and their irresponsible owners.

Woodard said he plans to keep seeking names for the petition as the committee works on enforcement plans.

The committee will hold public hearings and receive public input. The dates will be announced.

After the hearings, the committee will report back to the City Council by the second week of April, offering a stair-step enforcement plan to deal with residents who are repeat offenders as well as devising a proactive step to deal with dangerous dogs.

Last week, councilors learned that 89 cases of dog bites on other animals or humans had been reported in the past three years, half of which were by pit bulls.

Woodard, like a lot of pit bull owners, said dog owners should be faulted for their pets' bad behavior, not the animals themselves.

— Damian Mann